Discussion: The Right to Write

Mary Chapin Carpenter has been tapped by the Washington Times to write a regular column in the paper’s “Show” section, and her first article appeared on Friday, November 21.  A press released last week lauded the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter for her eloquent honesty and unique perspective:

“Mary Chapin Carpenter is a creatively evolving, mold-breaking national artist and beloved regional icon,” said Daniel Wattenberg, Washington Times Assistant Managing Editor for Arts and Features. “We couldn’t be happier to have her contributing to the national and local multimedia platforms of The Washington Times. A column may be a new medium for Mary Chapin, but her voice — intimate, reflective and companionable — will be comfortingly familiar. Our readers are in for a treat.”

This is a deserving honor for a woman known for her sharp, lyrical writing style and a keen eye for the minute details that form our daily lives.  So one wonders, who else would provide such relevant creative expression.

Which country artists would you like to see as working journalists?

Feel free to describe what role they would serve, and tell us why your choice would be such a logical candidate.

P.S.  Congratulations to readers Kim and Soul Miner’s Daughter, who won our Darius Rucker and Faith Hill album giveaways, respectively.  Email me with your shipping address, and we will send out your free copies shortly!


  1. Wow. That’s cool. I will look forward to reading that regularly. Rosanne Cash already writes a piece for the New York Times – not sure if it’s in the hard copy or not, but I know it can be found online.

    I think Marty Stuart would a great candidate to write a weekly column. So would Dolly Parton.

  2. J.R., those were the first three I thought of too! I love Cash’s column. I was also thinking that Dolly would bring great humor to a column, and Marty has such a great sense of history (and has had some pretty darn cool life experiences). Overall, most of the artists that I would love to hear from are older – they would bring wisdom, humor, experience and genuine personality to the table.

  3. Dolly Parton, definitely. She could write the whole paper and I’d read it.

    I think if Kathy Mattea took over the editorial section of a major newspaper, our national discourse would be instantly elevated. Ditto for Rodney Crowell.

    I’ve read Rosanne Cash’s articles and they’re amazing, as are her own blogs at her site.

    As for Vince Gill, he should skip the columnist gig and go straight to international dignitary. I think that man could negotiate world peace. Just have the meeting at the Opry House instead of the U.N.

    It reminds me of the old Mel Tillis song. “How many people have you ever heard fight while they were singing a song?”

  4. One weird thing, though, about MCC writing for the Washington Times. She happens to be a political liberal, but that newspaper is notorious for its right-wing POVs on everything.

    Maybe they’re sensing that their day in the sun has come to an end.

  5. I think Reba would be a great columnist as well. She has been through so many up’s and down’s throughout her life that her perspective on life, would be very intriguing and I suspect she’d give great advice ;)

    Garth Brooks, as I have seen in interviews, would be great talking about anything dealing with music, the music industry, and just life in general.

    Some others:
    Sheryl Crow: (She may not be completely country but after her fight against breast cancer she seems like she is very wise, which is reflected in her music(ex. Detours)
    Trisha Yearwood – she can cook, sing, and has southern hospitality, who wouldn’t read that column?!
    There are many many more artists but at the moment I just can’t think of any.

    Just for laugs – Rascal Flatts
    Maybe they can inform us how they snatch multiple awards every year for playing such bad music. (God knows I’d like to know)

  6. Great suggestions so far except that most (if not all) are coming from a Liberal POV… and there is already enough of that in the media (IMO).
    I would love to hear from someone who could be kinda close to non-partisan, or at least recognize the center if they saw it.

    As much as I love MCC and Rosanne Cash, I have to admit that I’m one of those people that like to keep my entertainment and my politics separate.
    Call me old fashioned, I suppose.
    There’s a reason our grandparents use to teach us not to talk about religion and politics in mixed company. :-)

    I would love to hear from SOME of these folks on more of an “in general” way. Trust me, I’m a counselor, I love hearing what is on someone’s mind… it’s just when it comes to throwing stones (or one’s interpretation of) that I get turned off.
    Just my $.02 … and worth exactly what you paid for it. ;-)

  7. “As for Vince Gill, he should skip the columnist gig and go straight to international dignitary. I think that man could negotiate world peace. Just have
    the meeting at the Opry House instead of the U.N.”

    Kevin’s a wise, wise man!!:)

    I agree about Dolly and Kathy Mattea was someone that I thought of right away as well. She just sounds intelligent when she talks. Someone else that I could imagine would be Wynonna Judd. She sounds like a writer.

  8. With the Washington Times undergoing leadership changes in the last year, the tone and style of the paper is edging, edging closer to the mainstream. And since she’s been hired for the arts/entertainment section, I’m sure they feel they’re on safe ground. MCC’s debut column is a pretty gentle piece.

    But yes, it is humorous. If Moon tires of the newspaper industry, Music Row could use his services (money).

  9. Rosanne Cash’s columns haven’t been political either. Just because you’re liberal doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything else to write about.

    And if she did write about her politics, she’d actually be moving the balance toward the center. Sixty percent of newspapers across the country publish more conservative columns than liberal ones.

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